Raid uncovers 150 marijuana plants in Issaquah home

December 4, 2012

Police discovered more than 150 marijuana plants during a raid on a downtown Issaquah home, and later arrested a 52-year-old man involved in the grow operation.

Officers surrounded a home in the 100 block of Northwest Dogwood Street at about 11:30 a.m. Nov. 20 to serve a search warrant. Police called for occupants to come outside and, after officers realized the home was empty, entered the building and discovered the plants.

Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said charges have not been filed against the man arrested in the incident and the investigation is ongoing.

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Police raid marijuana operation in downtown Issaquah home

November 28, 2012

NEW — 11:55 a.m. Nov. 28, 2012

Police discovered more than 150 marijuana plants during a raid on a downtown Issaquah home, and later arrested a 52-year-old man involved in the grow operation.

Officers surrounded a home in the 100 block of Northwest Dogwood Street at about 11:30 a.m. Nov. 20 to serve a search warrant. Police called for occupants to come outside and, after officers realized the home was empty, entered the building and discovered the plants.

Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said charges have not been filed against the man arrested in the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

Behrbaum said the grow operation was connected to a medical marijuana operation based in Seattle.

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Issaquah police plan no immediate changes after Initiative 502 legalizes marijuana

November 13, 2012

In a milestone, Initiative 502 legalized marijuana for recreational use among adults 21 and older in Washington.

In the days after the measure passed, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg dismissed 175 cases involving people 21 and older for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana.

The law outlined in I-502 is scheduled to take effect Dec. 6. Meanwhile, Washington Liquor Control Board officials must formulate rules to grow, sell, tax and regulate marijuana.

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Next King County sheriff faces tough decisions to reform agency

October 16, 2012

The contest to lead the King County Sheriff’s Office could hinge on a series of audits into how the agency operates.

The sheriff oversees a budget of about $150 million and about 1,000 employees, and leads the largest local police organization in the state after the Seattle Police Department.

John Urquhart

Steve Strachan

The contentious race pits Sheriff Steve Strachan, a former Kent police chief, against John Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office sergeant and spokesman.

King County Council members appointed Strachan as sheriff in April, not long after former Sheriff Sue Rahr resigned to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, or state police academy.

Though the election is to fill the Rahr’s unexpired term through 2013, the next sheriff faces a landmark effort to reform the agency in response to audits critical of policies put into place under Strachan’s predecessors.

Strachan, a SeaTac resident, served as a police chief and state legislator in Minnesota before accepting the Kent post in 2006. In the Minnesota Legislature, he helped pass legislation to reduce the blood-alcohol limit to 0.08 percent. Rahr tapped Strachan as the chief deputy, or No. 2 spot, at the sheriff’s office in early 2011.

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King County Council leaders request arena reviews

July 24, 2012

King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer called July 9 for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg to investigate legal costs involved in reviewing a proposed agreement to build a $490 million Seattle sports and entertainment arena.

In a letter to Satterberg, von Reichbauer asked for the number of hours attorneys in the prosecutor’s office spent reviewing the agreement and the cost of review, plus how much the office spent on outside attorneys.

The day after von Reichbauer sent the letter, Councilman Bob Ferguson called for a detailed and independent analysis to determine the arena’s impact on jobs and the economy.

Ferguson intends to propose amending the agreement under consideration to require the analysis after the King County Council and the Seattle City Council approve the pact for the arena.

The request comes as the councils delve deeper into the proposal to build a facility for professional basketball and hockey.

The amount of public support is capped at $120 million if organizers secure only the NBA franchise. The total could rise to $200 million if the NHL is added to the equation.

In June, von Reichbauer called for the arena proposal to go before voters.

Voters to decide dollars for juvenile justice center

July 17, 2012

King County voters could decide next month to increase the property tax rate in order to prepare the criminal justice system for the decades ahead.

The ballot measure Proposition 1 asks voters to approve a $200 million property tax levy to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

“We have a fairly good court system. We have a good prosecution office. We have good sheriff’s deputies. But this facility is the leak in the pipeline,” King County Councilman Reagan Dunn said in a July 13 interview. “For criminal justice to work effectively — especially with the increase in crime we’re seeing right now — all aspects of that pipeline need to be operating effectively.”

If the nine-year levy is passed, homeowners can expect to pay about 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $20 per year for a home assessed at $350,000 in 2013.

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Councilman calls for economic analysis of arena proposal

July 11, 2012

NEW — 3 p.m. July 11, 2012

King County Councilman Bob Ferguson called for a detailed and independent analysis to determine the proposed Seattle arena’s impact on jobs and the economy.

Ferguson intends to propose amending the agreement under consider to require the analysis after the King County Council and the Seattle City Council approve the pact for the arena. The study is meant to occur in the review and permitting stages, and before public financing is issued for the project.

In May, King County and Seattle leaders, joined by investor Chris Hansen, proposed a $490 million sports and entertainment arena near Safeco Field.

“The development of an NBA and NHL arena has the potential to impact important segments of our economy, including construction, tourism and maritime industries,” Ferguson said in a statement. “We must take an independent look to evaluate the impacts — positive and negative — on the region’s economy.”

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King County councilman asks prosecutor to review arena legal costs

July 10, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. July 10, 2012

King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer called Monday for the King County prosecutor to investigate legal costs involved in reviewing a proposed agreement to build a $490 million Seattle sports and entertainment arena.

In a letter to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, von Reichbauer said the review is meant to help the councilman evaluate the proposal by understanding the number of hours attorneys in the prosecutor’s office spent reviewing the agreement and the cost of review.

In addition, von Reichbauer asked Satterberg to determine how much the county has spent so far on outside attorneys to assist in the review, and how much the office expects to spend on outside attorneys in the next 30 days.

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King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg showcases high-tech crime-fighting tools

May 1, 2012

Investigators used saliva from a cigarette butt discarded at a murder scene to connect a suspect to the slaying. Recorded jailhouse phone conversations led prosecutors to convict a man for brutal acts of domestic violence. Cellphone data allowed police to trace gang members’ movements before and after a chaotic shooting at a crowded car show.

Dan Satterberg

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg delved into recent cases April 17 and outlined the forensic science tools investigators and prosecutors use to lock criminals behind bars.

In a talk given to the Rotary Club of Issaquah, Satterberg offered a presentation akin to “CSI: Issaquah” — down to using the “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” theme music, The Who’s “Who Are You.”

“This has changed the way that we investigate cases. It has given us results that we never thought we’d be able to get to solve cold cases going way back,” he said to the Tibbetts Creek Manor audience. “It has in some ways made the job of the police investigator and the deputy prosecutor more complicated.”

The cigarette butt and a spent shell casing linked gang member Omar Norman to the October 2005 murder of Terrell Milam, a rival gang member.

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